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Last night we had a simple supper of homemade trout pate spread thickly on slices of pumpernickel bread topped with a morsel of homegrown lettuce.

The recipe was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s version in his book River Cottage Everyday.  I had planned to follow it to the letter, but it seems that I picked up soft cheese rather than crème fraîche while out shopping, so I ended up making it up and tasting it as I went along. 

We ate the pate on slices of the Barbakan’s pumpernickel bread, which was delicious – dark, sticky and chewy.  Every mouthful felt good for you.  It has been agreed we must eat more of it more often.

Here’s my version, without exact measurements – mix and taste, then amend.  Alternatively follow Hugh’s recipe.

Smoked trout pate

Feeds 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter

Approx 250-300g smoked trout (I used a combination of smoke trout and hot smoked trout)
A couple of spoonfuls of soft cheese/cream cheese
A dollop of mayonnaise
A couple of teaspoons of English mustard
Lots of lemon juice
A good grinding of black pepper
A bunch of chives, snipped
Chive flowers

In a blender add half the smoked trout, the soft cheese and mustard.  Blitz.  Add more soft cheese if it’s a bit dry and the mayonnaise.  Add a good amount of lemon juice and the ground black pepper. 

Blitz and then taste.  You want it to have a good punchy kick of mustard, but not overpowering.  And a nice fresh lemony background taste.  I added a tiny splash of water just to loosen the pate a little.

Flake the remaining smoke trout and stir into the pate – this gives a nice texture.  Also stir in the snipped chives and the chive flowers which you should pull from the head.

Eat with pumpernickel or a dark rye bread and a crisp green salad.  This would also make an excellent canapé – a tiny chunk of bread spread with pate and topped with a piece of lettuce or a sprinkling of chives and chive flowers.

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brie and onion bagel2

A quick interlude from Italy food adventures, and a bid to get back into blogging after a week away and a busy week last week preparing for the little sister’s 16th Mexican Fiesta Party.

I adore bagels, especially those from the Barbakan Deli in Manchester, and love their versatility.  They taste great with so many different toppings and fillings. 

Some of my favourites include a toasted bagel with a generous helping of salted butter, or a mashed avocado spread over bagel halves and topped with sea salt and black pepper.  Oh, and a bacon and egg bagel is a whole new level to bacon and egg in a bread bap.

brie and onion bagel

This bagel was lightly toasted so that the edges just started to go golden, then smeared with gooey brie that just started to melt from the warmth of the bagel.  Finally, it was topped with onion marmalade, this one was shop bought by onion marmalade or caramelised onion is really simple to make.

brie and onion bagel3

tomato salad

An absolute classic, timelessly tasty and always popular with friends.  At its most basic, tomatoes and basil, but here I’ve added in a little crumbled feta.

Mixed Tomato and Basil Salad

Feeds 2 as part of a meal

100g red plum cherry tomatoes
100g yellow cherry tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil
Feta cheese
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and pop into your serving dish.

Tear over the fresh basil.

Add a dash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Crumble over the feta and season with salt and pepper.

Eat!

augustsummermeal2

We ate our salads with cheese – a Danish blue cheese called Castello (available from -the dreaded- supermarket) and a sheep’s cheese called Brebirousse Argental (one of my absolute favourites and available from Barbakan Deli in Manchester).

To finish it off we had a plate of slightly toasted Polish black bread, that we rubbed with garlic and smeared with olive oil. 

Yum yum yum.

Coming tomorrow: Chocolate Cake

Winter veg coleslaw

Winter veg coleslaw

For lunch today, I finally made the coleslaw I’ve been wanting to make for the last two weeks.  The two cabbage that I bought, were however bought two weeks ago when I first decided I wanted to try making coleslaw.  I’d stored them in our back porch – which is somewhere between a shabby conservatory, a lean-to, and a boot room – as it’s freezing in there and great when I run out of fridge space.  They probably weren’t as crisp and crunchy as they would have been two weeks ago, but notheless still good.

I finely shredded a small white cabbage and a small red cabbage.  Finely sliced a small red onion, and grated half a giant carrot – probably the size of one normal carrot.  In a bowl I combined a couple of tablespoons of organic mayonnaise, about two teaspoons of whole grain mustard, a little under one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a glug of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a little warm water.  I mixed this all together and added my shredded, sliced and grated veg.  Stir it altogether and you have my version of coleslaw. 

a hearty meal

a hearty meal

What I’ve realised is that you don’t need to think that you need to ‘attempt’ to make coleslaw.  It is in fact, quite simple.  I’m sure you could try lots of different combinations, and with a little bit of tweaking to create the flavours you’re after it would still taste great.  So have a go, it’s the perfect way to eat raw vegetables at this cold and inhospitable time of year.

We ate ours two ways: N served his coleslaw with a minute steak (from Little Heath Farm) and a hunk of Cheese and Sundried Tomato bread (from Barkbakan – this bread is delicious, it is topped with mixture of seeds, one of which is caraway which seems to have the effect of hightening the cheese and tomato flavours); I ate mine with a potato, cheese and leek pastry.

Linguine with homemade meatballs

Linguine with homemade meatballs

Last night for tea we made homemade meatballs with linguine and a tomato sauce.  When it comes to following recipes, I’m not very good at sticking to them unless requires precision – things like pastry I’m not yet confident at “adding a little bit of this ” and a “little bit of that.”  Instead I often use recipes as a guide, or more often than not just the title or photo of a recipe to make my own version. 

So last night I created my own spaghetti and meatballs after seeing a delicious photo in Jamie at Home (one of my all time favourite recipe books, and probably my most used).  Most of the time I don’t have all the ingredients a recipe calls for, and I’m not very good at planning ahead and going out to stock up on the right ingredients.  So instead I substitute with ingredients I have hanging around in my fridge or cupboards, or just work my way around them.

We made our meatballs from mince beef (from Little Heath Farm) rather than sausagemeat.  We mixed the raw meat with breadcrumbs (I blitzed up a few slices of a Sweet Poppy Seed loaf from Barbakan), some dried herbs that my mom had brought me back from France, and some salt and pepper.  N shaped them into small balls and we cooked them in a good glug of olive oil under brown and crispy. 

No spaghetti in the house, just angel hair or linguine – I opted for linguine I felt as the angel hair was too thin for a thick tomatoey sauce and meatballs.  The tomato sauce consisted of chopped garlic, parsley stalks finely chopped, a tin of cherry tomatoes, and a glug of balsamic vinegar – plus seasoning.  This was blitzed up, spooned over the cooked linguine, and the meatballs piled on top, finished with a handful of chopped parsley.  The recipe called for peas.  I wanted peas, planned on having peas, but forgot the peas.  Oh well.  Maybe next time.

Yum

Yum

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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